The mission of the Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous Coalition (NAIC) is to provide our members a network of support in developing and achieving professional development within ACPA for advancing educational opportunities and support of Aboriginal, Indigenous, and Native students in higher education. The Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous Coalition is particularly interested in creating partnerships with Tribal Colleges and Universities and organizations serving Aboriginal, Indigenous, and Native students.
The Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous Coalition is a community within ACPA of professionals with a desire to actively participate in opportunities that provide resources and support to its members, both personally and professionally, with care, respect, and encouragement.
NAIC promotes the values of shared leadership, advocacy, support, and community as we work to:
Provide counsel to the ACPA governance on topics related to Native, Aboriginal and Indigenous college students and Indigenous/Native student affairs
Create opportunities for new scholarship to be showcased related to Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous college students and Indigenous/Native student affairs
Bring forth current trends and topics that affect Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous college students and the field of Indigenous/Native student affairs
- Represent ACPA’s voice through the National Coalition for the Advancement of Native Higher Education
Over the past six months, the members of the Native American Network have been working toward revitalizing our presence within ACPA. The past decade within the Native American Network has been one of consistent education for our association, the student affairs profession, and within higher education that Native American, Aboriginal, and Indigenous students and professionals should be a priority. Staff and faculty that identify as Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous in higher education are among the lowest of all racial groups, ranging from 0.3% to 0.6% respectively (National Center for Education Statistics, 2015, Table 314.40). Furthermore, graduation rates of Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous students are the lowest reported of all racial/ethnic groups at 40.5% (National Center for Education Statistics, 2015, Table 326.10). Given these statistics, the commitment of this network has been to increase awareness of, advocacy for, and inclusion of issues facing our community.
One of the first items our network addressed was to review our name in order to be inclusive of the diversity of our people and align with our values. As such, the Native American Network is now the Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous Network (NAIN). Furthermore, after a survey of our members, both past and present, the network also revised our mission statement. It was important to maintain our cultural integrity and retain the core values that made our network a welcoming space within the association. While we looked toward building the future with emerging initiatives, collaborations, and advocating for the Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous voice, the membership has continued to operate through our values of shared leadership, consensus, and respect.
This week many cities and states have joined in advocating for the adoption of Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October to acknowledge and celebrate the original inhabitants of North America. NAIN supports ACPA in their adoption of Indigenous Peoples Day as a demonstration of commitment to the growth and advocacy for the Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous communities within the association and higher education.
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). Table 314.40. Employees in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity, sex, employment status, control and level of institution, and primary occupation: Fall 2011. In U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (Ed.), Digest of Education Statistics (2013 ed.) (p. 498).
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). Table 326.10. Graduation rates of first-time, full-time bachelor’s degree-seeking students at 4-year postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity, time to completion, sex, and control of institution: Selected cohort entry years, 1996 through 2006. In U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (Ed.), Digest of Education Statistics (2013 ed.) (p. 609).
Dr. Symphony Oxendine
Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous Coalition Chair
University of North Carolina Wilmington